055 Portrait of Linus Oubeniel p.2

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At her scathing remarks, Linus shuddered.

He couldn't help but infer further meaning behind the word "leave you". He wondered if she knew about the slave.

"......Don't be stupid."

Those words from Linus might very well be for himself.

Yes, it was stupid. Her family had collapsed in the last year, she had no backing, she was close to Tullius, who was the snob of the family, and she didn’t have strong support from the retainers. Nobody in such a position would suspect their spouse of cheating in such a situation. There was a thing known as woman's intuition, but Simone did not seem to have that kind of sensitivity. After all, she still misunderstood the reality of that undeniably insane person.

Simone continued, oblivious to Linus' concerns.

"Oh, you're worried about that matchmaker you hate so much, aren't you? I know it's not Elisha's words, but you really have a small heart."


You hate your brother, Sir Tullius. You also hate Marquis Lavallee who you have teamed up with because of Tullius. And now the guards sent by the Marquis? There’s really nothing that can be done for you huh, you're like a selfish child."

"......Shut up."

"Are you telling me that you won't even grant me the right to open my mouth? If you think I'm so disgusting that you don't even want to hear a word I say, why don't you just leave me behind? With a Count's power, it should be no big deal—"

"I said shut up!!"

His voice was basically a scream.

The woman standing in front of him, understood not a single thing. Why did she say such things, why was she making such a face, why did she look at him like that? It felt as if he was talking to another creature.

If they were divorced, Linus and Lavallee would be in trouble, but Simone would be in the most trouble. Her family had died out, and she had no hopes of being married again. Of course, Linus would have to provide her with enough money to eat, but even so, the scope of her life would be greatly reduced. She could choose to marry to a lower ranked noble and resurrect the Pontauban Baron family, but that itself was a huge wager…...

In other words, she probably disliked Linus so much that she was prepared to do such a thing and willingly voiced her disapproval.

"What's going on, your Excellency, Count!"

The door opened and a disheveled looking knight jumped in. It must be the guard that Elisha had said she would leave behind. He had shouted so loudly that one might have thought an emergency had happened.

Linus waved his hand depressingly. He didn't realise it, but his face was as pale as a sick man's.


"Yes! But there was a very loud voice—"

"I told you it's nothing! Also, don't you guards know the proper etiquette of knocking on the door!"

He became even more frustrated with the knight who failed to infer what happened. Simone looked at her husband with mixed feelings. Her gaze contained amazement, frustration, aversion and maybe the slightest hint of pity.

"We are sorry. He's just, what do you call it...... that kind of person."

"Ye, yes...... then there is no issue? My apologies."

The knight grudgingly replied to Simone's shoddy explanation and retreated from the room.

Simone had treated Linus as if he was mentally unwell. Even though Linus was sure his brother was the crazy one.

Being associated with his brother like that was discomforting.

"......I’m leaving for a moment."

"Where to?"

As Linus turned on his heel and headed out, Simone asked plainly.

—If you have no interest in knowing, you don't have to ask. Linus held his tongue on that and simply replied.

"Just a walk. What's wrong with a lord taking a walk in his territory?"

He didn't really want to go out. He didn't know what Tullius had installed for him. But it was more painful to stay in the same room as Simone.

She must have felt the same way. She sent him off with a loathing, irritated smile that was unimaginable since they were newlyweds.

"Oh, is that so? Please enjoy yourself, Count."

In frustration, he thrusted the door open, and then slammed the door closed.

The knight waiting outside had another startled look, but Linus ignored him and walked down the corridor. Several times, the guard called out to him from behind, but Linus replied evasively. On the way, Linus passed a few shameless collared slaves, worsening his already poor mood.

(We can’t even tell whose house this is now, can we?)

It was as if his mansion was under the control of Tullius, who had arrived earlier. It seemed that his vassals who were in charge of the house and territory could not say no to the second son of the main family who showed up unannounced carrying a lot of things. His notoriety probably had not reached Volden, which was far from the royal capital. Perhaps he should have written a letter to inform the people here.

(.....This place is suffocating.)

Everywhere he went in the mansion, he saw the eyes, more eyes, and all the eyes of the slaves of Tullius. Eyes that harboured no emotion towards him, in other words, eyes that didn't think anything of Linus. As a noble, he was used to being served, but these stares were physically oppressive to him. He could not feel at peace inside this place.

So, he went outside.

Alone, in the cool summer breeze of the highlands, was he finally able to feel alive again.


Even in summer, the air in the highlands at dusk was cold. That made it invigorating, on the flip side. It was as if all the invisible dirt that had been clinging onto his body was being scraped away.

"All of them are useless women."

He expelled something that had been building up in the depths of his mind. But this one did not disappear immediately. The more he said it, the more it welled up in his throat.

"An evil wife who has no good eye and that bitchy knight. And then there are those slaves of Tullius! Why should I be involved with these women?"

He couldn't help but feel frustrated. In the royal capital, there was a perfect outlet for this kind of situation. The only thing that made that female slave worthwhile was the fact that she was timid, slow, and tight-lipped. He thought it would be unnatural to bring a slave with no significant role here, so he left her at the main residence, but it backfired. There was no one to take care of Linus' growing frustration.

It was a regrettable choice. His marriage with Simone had started in the worst way last year, and there had been no sign of improvements. He was close to the limit of spending nights with her just out of a sense of duty to have an heir. In that respect, the slave was really good. As his official wife was a noble's daughter, there were certain things he would never dare to do with his wife. The female slave was different. She never complained at all. The way she surrendered everything to him satisfied his self-esteem. She was much more than Simone, who was a mere baroness but had a very high opinion of herself.

"Wait, what am I doing......?"

He halted his thoughts, which were fast approaching a dangerous territory.

He was committing the taboo of keeping a female slave without telling his official wife. In addition to that, it was not a righteous thought to place a noble woman lower than a slave, even if he had not openly declared.

He wondered if he'd been brainwashed by Tullius without his knowledge, but there was no reaction from his anti-brainwashing equipment.

So this idea was borne entirely from himself.

"No...... that can't be true!"

Feebleness struck him and he knelt down on the summer grass. Linus started pounding on the ground again and again.

"Who am I? I'm Linus Strein Oubeniel, Lord of Volden, Count of the kingdom, and a noble. I'm not like my father or that scum, I'm the head of the respectable Oubeniel family! There was no way such a person like myself would think such a thing. It's impossible, it's impossible......!"

No one was listening, yet he needed to find excuses for himself.

His father, full of debauchery, was a person who desperately tried to cover up his own incompetence, and then died of fright when he saw the madness of his second son, whom he had misguidedly pinned hopes on.

His demonic brother made their mother die giving birth to him, grew up killing slaves, drove his father to his death, and was probably still committing evil, although he had no proof now.

Linus kept repeating over and over again that he was different from these people.

Tears began to flow from his eyes. He rubbed himself repeatedly with the back of his hand, but the tears wouldn’t stop.
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